Style Counsel: Marian Kelly

Georgia native Marian Kelly now serves as vice president of the Cincinnati Film Society, and while she may be soft-spoken, her style comes through loud and clear.
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Photograph by Jonathan Willis

After getting her fine arts degree in film from New York University, Georgia native Marian Kelly landed in Cincinnati through a stint with AmeriCorps. Kelly now serves as vice president of the Cincinnati Film Society, and while she may be soft spoken, her style comes through loud and clear.

When we met, you were wearing a purple striped coat over a leopard print jacket. clearly you love mixing patterns. Any tips for pulling that off? My first rule is leopard print goes with everything. It’s been my neutral for the last 10 years. I think the trick is finding harmony in the pieces. But it’s really about taking chances and not being afraid to mess up.

Do you shop for vintage? Yes. I like thrift and resale shops. I’ve picked up accessories at Atomic Number Ten and I love the resale shop at the Brighton Center in Newport. It’s a bring-a-bag-and-fill-it-for-two-dollars kind of place. I love the worker shirt I bought there. And it’s not a thrift store, but the Burlington Coat Factory in Covington is great for just about everything.

You’re 28 but look so much younger. Can you still get away with shopping in the  juniors department? Yes, and I do! But I have to be careful not to dress like I’m 16.

What’s your biggest fashion weakness? I have a jacket problem. My favorite is my navy blue blazer, a five-dollar thrift store find that I got in New York years ago. It’s sturdy, comfy, warm—they just don’t make clothes like that anymore.

You’ve been in Cincinnati for almost four years. Do you miss living in a big city like New York? Cincinnati has an energy that’s great. There’s a feeling of being on the verge of something here that’s exciting. Everything’s been done in New York.

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